The eight-year-old girl had been cycling home from school when she was assaulted and raped by a man in a forest in Billdal, Gothenburg, in September 1995.
It was only earlier this year, 24 years after the crime took place, that the 58-year-old was detained on suspicion of the rape. This followed a so-called 'family search' in the police DNA register, linking him to DNA found on the girl's jumper at the time.
So-called 'family searches' in the police's DNA database were made possible after a law change that came into effect on January 1st this year. This means that DNA traces found at crime scenes can sometimes be used to track down close relatives of possible suspects, something police were previously unable to do.
Prosecutors requested that the man be sentenced to seven years in jail in the trial, which ended on Tuesday morning, and the ruling is expected on May 21st.
“The punishment for this type of crime is eight years, but then you need to do a deduction in relation to the time that has passed, and in previous cases it's been one year,” prosecutor Thomas Ahlstrand said to SVT Väst.
The man has denied the crime but was reticent during questioning and the trial itself.
In Sweden, the statute of limitations is 25 years for crimes on which a life sentence could be imposed.